After four years on Mars, the InSight mission is a huge success

Left, the dust accumulated on the solar panels of the inSight probe ended up depriving it of the energy needed to communicate with the seismometer, whose last photo (right) reached Earth on December 11. Nasa.org/Nasa.org

HISTORY – The French seismometer taken away by NASA has revolutionized our knowledge of the red planet’s interior.

Since November 2018, the InSight probe has been taking the pulse of the Red Planet. Shortly before Christmas, NASA announced that it could no longer communicate with the robot, marking the end of its mission. Still shortly before they died, scientists published a press release announcing the registration of the most powerful earthquake observed on the surface of the Red Planet on May 4, with a magnitude of 4.7, when the previous record was measured at 4.2 in August 2021. “It is always complicated to see such an adventure come to an end, but this stop cannot be compared to the loss of a mission”comments Philippe Lognonné, seismologist at the Institut de physique du globe de Paris (IPGP) and at the University of Paris Cité, who is considered the father of SEIS, the French seismometer that equips the probe. “Of course, there are some regrets… Secretly, we would have liked InSight to extend its stay, kind of like the Opportunity rover (which worked for fourteen years, editor’s note). Especially when…

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